Desert Crossing

Today was the day I had scheduled to be in Minneapolis. The world being what it is, we adapt our expectations to our real world experiences. Instead we are in the Nevada desert. The old truck struggles to pull our big windsail of a boat.


I need to do more research for the oral history aspects of the project. I thought with the vast distances we were covering there would be untold hours of travel time to read, research, organize, and plan. Instead there has been near constant worry about the condition of the truck. Is it overheating? Are the trailer brakes working? Should it be making big clouds of dark smoke as we go up this hill? What is this oil splattered all over the trailer chains?

So instead of cruising down the highway carefree, wind in our hair, listening to great tunes, we’ve been sitting alertly listening for any change in the sound of the engine and then passing out in the passenger seat exhausted after a stint driving.

Note to self: Strongly consider renting a truck for the next big boaty adventure.

Downhill with no wind, our top speed is a glorious 60mph. With a bit of a headwind on levelish desert, we can do 45mph. If we are going uphill fogetaboutit, we’re going 30 or less. I don’t even want to do the division on that to see how many hours it will take us to get to Minnesota.


We slept in a random turnout in the desert and breakfasted at The Griddle in Winnemucca. Now we continue east. East, east, ever eastward.

1 comment for “Desert Crossing

  1. Geoffrey Rogers
    July 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Black smoke
    is caused by “fuel overloading”. This will cause carbon buildup in the cylinder heads, which is probably already pretty heavy on this engine. Not good;. Try downshifting and keep the revs up higher (within reason) when climbing and see if that helps.​ Not too late to get a rental if anyone will rent one for towing. Good Luck!

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